Ovarian Vein Incompetence

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What is Ovarian Vein Incompetence?

  • Ovarian Vein Incompetence is a significant cause of pelvic discomfort. Pelvic pain impacts 30% of women in their lifetime, and chronic pelvic pain impacts 15% of women.
  • The ovarian vein has valves which should allow flow only in one direction and that direction is from the pelvis up towards the chest.
  • In some women, these veins are malfunctioning, and the direction of flow in the ovarian vein goes the wrong way, from the upper abdomen down into the pelvis causing congestion in the veins of the pelvis.

What are the symptoms and signs of Ovarian vein incompetence?

Symptoms of OVI include:

  • Pain is often relieved when the patient lies down
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Heaviness or dragging pain in the pelvis
  • Heavy feeling in the legs and thighs or hips; back pain
  • Pain on intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Pain or discomfort when passing urine
  • It is also worth noting that some women with OVI show signs of visible varicose veins.
  • Remember, pelvic pain can have many underlying causes so it is also important to rule out endometriosis, uterine abnormalities, pelvic inflammatory adhesions and other gynaecological issues with your doctor, should pain persist.
  • Once these have been ruled out, it is a good option to see a vascular surgeon.
  • The risk of chronic pelvic pain having a vascular issue is typically increased with subsequent pregnancies and multiple pregnancies.
  • This is because during pregnancy blood vessels expand to accommodate increased blood flow. In turn, this expansion can sometimes cause the valves to malfunction and blood to pool back into the veins, causing painful, varicose veins and ultimately PVC.
  • Dr Huber uses state-of-the-art imaging protocols such as ultrasound to help make a diagnosis.
  • Other diagnostic tools include venogram, magnetic resonance venography and intravascular ultrasound.

Signs of congestion related to ovarian vein incompetence include:

  • Chronic swelling of the left leg (sometimes both)
  • Varicose veins especially if they return after adequate initial treatment

What is the treatment for Ovarian vein incompetence?

Symptoms of OVI include:

  • Blocking the vein using coils prevents the transmission of pressure and decreases the congestion of the veins in the pelvis.
  • Find out more about the highly effective hospital day treatment our vascular surgeons perform for Ovarian Vein Incompetence here.